Blog Tour : Blue Running by Lori Ann Stephens

Lori Ann Stephens
Dystopian Fiction / Coming of Age / Suspense
Publisher: Moonflower Publishing
Date of Publication: November, 2022
Number of Pages: 334 pages 
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In the new Republic of Texas, guns are compulsory and nothing is forgiven. Blue Running is a gripping coming-of-age thriller set in post-secessionist Texas. A fast-paced, page-turning book, it looks unflinchingly at what the future could hold, and finds hope there.

Fourteen-year-old Bluebonnet Andrews is on the run across the Republic of Texas. An accident with a gun killed her best friend but everyone in the town of Blessing thinks it was murder. Even her father – the town’s drunken deputy – believes she did it. Now, she has no choice but to run. In Texas, murder is punishable by death.
On the road she meets Jet, a pregnant young woman of Latin American heritage. Jet is secretive about her past but she’s just as determined as Blue to get out of Texas before she’s caught and arrested. Together, the two form an unlikely kinship as they make their way past marauding motorcycle gangs, the ever-watchful Texas Rangers, and armed strangers intent on abducting them – or worse. When Blue and Jet finally reach the wall, will they be able to cross the border, or will they be shot down in cold blood like the thousands who have gone before them?
Some things are worth dying for.
“Brilliant.” Heat Magazine
“A fast-paced story that races along, and stays with you long after you’ve finished it.” The American
“An important and unforgettable read.” Armadillo Magazine

Novelist, librettist, lecturer Lori Ann Stephens grew up in North Texas, where she developed an addiction to the arts. Her novels for children and adults include Novalee and the Spider Secret, Some Act of Vision, and Song of the Orange Moons, and her award-winning work has been noted by Glimmer Train Stories, The Chicago Tribune, and the English National Opera. She teaches Writing and Critical Reasoning undergraduate courses, as well as creative writing graduate courses, at Southern Methodist University. She lives in Texas and is a bit mad about her cat.

Rating 5 out of 5 Stars

Disclaimer: I received an audiobook copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from Lone Star Literary.

Blue Running is a well-written thriller-style story that takes the reader on a wild ride from the beginning. I received a gifted copy of the audiobook, narrated by Ashley Kaplan Rose. Blue Running is the first book I’ve read by the author and the narrator.

The book is a dystopian novel set in the future. Bluebonnet, Blue, Andrews is the main character in the story. Blue lives alone with her deputy Dad in Blessing. She doesn’t have a strong memory of her mother, and her father isn’t keen on sharing any stories of her mother. Blue only has one memory of the moment when her mother left and that memory often turns into a nightmare as she lives on. She knows that her mother is still alive and outside of the borders of Texas. Blue’s character is a 14-year-old girl who sees herself as an outcast at her school during a time when patriotism is high and gun usage is even higher. She struggles to make friends until she meets a new girl in town. The two girls quickly become inseparable. Then the new school year starts and her best friend takes a seat at the popular table while Blue watches from afar. Blue finally gets the courage to confront her friend at home, during her visit an accidental death causes her life to change completely. Blue must learn to survive on the run with an unlikely acquaintance. Jet, Blue’s new running partner, is also escaping a life that no longer belongs to her. Both girls will face many trials, tribulations, and challenges, and have to make split-second decisions to survive.

The author does a phenomenal job with this novel. The writing style is both captivating and informative. The narrator allows the reader to be transported into the story and feel like they are a part of the action unfolding. Blue Running had me angry, sad, upset, and in tears, as I listened to their lives unfold. I felt such a strong connection to Jet and Blue and enjoyed Blue’s genuine curiosity. I was angry at the accusations made towards Blue and felt the girls’ loneliness; the author’s writing allowed me to be fully immersed in Jet’s and Blue’s emotions. It is a rare occasion that a book has me so awestruck. Bravo to the author for writing an amazing book and bravo to the narrator for doing such a great job with telling the story.

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in a dystopian thriller novel.

Paperback of Blue Running
with autographed bookplate mailed separately
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 5/19/23)

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